Category Archives: Project Tomorrow

The Project Tomorrow Innovation in Education Awards

Project Tomorrow, in partnership with the OC Tech Alliance, is calling for nominations from the Orange County community to recognize outstanding education programs, educators and students for their innovative uses of science, math and technology.  The Annual Innovation in Education Awards process is open to all public and private schools in Orange County, CA and nomination forms are available on Project Tomorrow’s website, The 2014 Innovation in Education Award recipients will be announced at the 21thAnnual High-Tech Innovation Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. This year’s event also represents the 9th annual education focused segment, a partnership between Project Tomorrow and corporate sponsors, Emulex Corporation and Microsemi Corporation.
Project Tomorrow is seeking nominations in three categories this year:
  • Innovative Schoolwide Program of the Year in Science, Math & Technology – distinguishing a public, private, or parochial school that demonstrates innovation with an outstanding, results-based schoolwide program
  • High Impact Teacher of the Year in Science, Math & Technology – acknowledging the influence of a great teacher in his/her use of science, math or technology to significantly impact  student academic achievement
  • Emerging Student Innovator of the Year in Science, Math & Technology – recognizing current eighth grade or freshman, sophomore, and junior high school students who are creatively using science, math and technology resources to solve a school or community problem
“With the aim of creating a career-ready workforce and improving education, this awards process provides a unique opportunity to celebrate and showcase Orange County school programs and teachers which are cultivating 21st-century skills as well as the students who are putting these essential skills to use by developing innovative solutions to real problems,” says Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow’s CEO.  
Nominations for the 2014 Project Tomorrow Innovation in Education awards may be self-submitted or submitted by a district and/or school staff person. Organizations such as a PTA unit, parent advisory committee, or any youth based organization(s) are also eligible to nominate.  An independent review panel of local education and business leaders will select this year’s award recipients.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 30, 2014. Nomination may be submitted through the online application forms found at

Using Online Learning Tools to Prepare America’s Students for Success

Recently, our CEO Julie Evans sat down with our friends at Learning Outside the Lines to discuss how superintendents and teachers should look to a student-driven vision of the 21st Century Classroom using digital learning tools to foster collaboration, open access, and enriched learning, to personalize learning and best meet student achievement goals. 
Click on the video above to listen to Julie’s thoughts on this topic and several other key issues related to online learning and STEM education.
Learning Outside the Lines is provided by Fuel Education; it is an online publication brings together the insights of experts in online learning with superintendents, technologists, and those administering online learning programs to address the transformation of education. Learning Outside the Lines covers a range of topics from blended and fully online learning and the integration of technology into the classroom, to alternative education programs, remedial education, and current learning standards. Their experts engage in these discussions, share their experiences, and outline best practices to help define a better, brighter, educational future for your school district. Click here to learn more about the Learning Outside the Lines and Fuel Education.

Project Tomorrow’s 2013 High Impact Teacher of the Year featured in a Super Bowl ad

If you were one of the 111 million people who watched the Super Bowl last Sunday, you probably saw Microsoft’s ad which portrayed the company’s role in helping a deaf woman to hear, a surgeon to operate successfully, and students to learn by enabling them to connect with other students from across the country.

While Scott Bedley’s fifth-graders from Plaza Vista School in Irvine, CA were only featured in the ad long enough for them to scream, “Hi!”, the brief clip actually comes from a longer online advertisement that focuses solely on the students playing one of their several classroom games: Mystery Skype. Through Mystery Skype, the students are able to use the program to meet classrooms from other areas; however, neither classroom knows where the other is located and they must guess the other’s state by asking about geography, climate, and culture.

Mystery Skype isn’t the only way the students use technology in the classroom – Bedley’s fifth graders have also video chatted with the lead paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, recreated famous buildings and landmarks through the block-building computer game Minecraft, and have used Google Docs to tutor younger students.

Not only were his students able to learn by connecting with others through technology, but Bedley was as well. “[Mystery Skype] is a game that I learned about from different educators that I connected with on Twitter,” he said. His quest to Skype with all 50 states caught Microsoft’s attention, who then asked if he would like to be a part of their campaign which focuses on how the company’s products can change lives. “I saw it as an opportunity to highlight some things that are innovative in education and share those with other teachers,” he said.

Bedley was recently named the 2014 Orange County Teacher of the Year and was the recipient of the 2013 Project Tomorrow’s High Impact Teacher in Science, Math & Technology Award, which acknowledged his influence in preparing his students to compete and thrive in the 21st century. He hopes that his highly-watched Super Bowl ad will inspire teachers to use technology in order to change the way they teach and ultimately teach their students “to excel beyond what is just traditional learning.”

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!
We hope you all had a great week! It’s Friday, which means it’s time to meet another one of our wonderful team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Vinh Luong, our Program Manager!

Vinh Luong
Program Manager
Project Tomorrow
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Vinh joined the team as our Program Manager; he manages our YouthTEACH2Learn Program and the California Future Educators Association (CFEA). Formerly, he was the Program Coordinator for the Upward Bound Math & Science Program at California State University, San Bernadino. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas, Arlington and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University, San Bernadino.

In his free time Vinh enjoys playing basketball, flag football, hiking, and traveling. He also enjoys photography and maintains a photo blog just for fun.

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!
We hope you all had a great week! It’s Friday, which means it’s time to meet another one of our wonderful team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Nayssan Safavian, our Research Analyst!

Nayssan Safavian
Research Analyst
Project Tomorrow
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Nayssan joined the Project Tomorrow team as a Research Analyst this year. She recently earned her Ph.D. with an emphasis on Learning, Cognition, and Development from the School of Education at the University of California at Irvine (UCI). She also holds an M.A. in Education from UC Irvine and a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA. Her research focuses on understanding how students’ attitudes towards learning differentially inform their achievement-related choices, aspirations, and long-term success.

Nayssan lectures on the subjects of adolescent and social development at UC Irvine, as well as collaborates with the California Motivation Project (UC Irvine) and the Quantitative Education Study Team (California State University, Fullerton). In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and trying new foods.  

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!

We hope you all had a fantastic week! It’s Friday which means it’s time to meet another one of our fabulous team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Lisa, our Project Support Coordinator!

Lisa Chu

Program Support Coordinator
Project Tomorrow
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Lisa joined Project Tomorrow in fall 2013 as an intern and now serves as the Program Support Coordinator for Project Tomorrow, where she manages the blog & social media accounts, as well as lends support for Speak Up and other programs. She is currently a senior at the University of California, Irvine, where she majors in Sociology and Economics and is set to graduate this upcoming June. Lisa has a passion for education: she previously interned at Horton’s Kids, a non-profit education geared towards helping and tutoring at-risk youth in Washington DC, and currently teaches high school freshmen about globalization/global issues through Global Connect at UC Irvine.

In her free time Lisa enjoys running, trying new places to eat, and spending time with friends and family.

Please be sure to check back next week to meet Nayssan Safavian, our new Research Analyst!

Thanks for reading!

-The Project Tomorrow Team

Your Chance to Speak Up, America (And Why You Should)

 “Take out your devices and begin researching animals found in your biomes.” On a recent visit to a local high school, I was taken aback by the teacher’s instructions. Immediate access. Incredible efficiency. Genuine engagement. Each student group huddled around two or three mobile devices scrolling vigorously, jotting down notes, and actively conducting (what looked like) research.
But then, I thought back to an unfortunate technology-related incident I was witness to last year: a cell phone stolen from an unattended backpack, used to photograph unsupervised students standing and laying atop a teacher’s desk, making inappropriate faces and gestures which ultimately lead to tears and suspensions.
There may be no way to allow students to use their own devices at school without risks, but certainly ignoring this possibility as a way to enhance learning would be unwise. As would, passing up the opportunity to contribute to the discussion about the future of digital learning and the role technology will play.
The Future of Digital Learning: What Do You Think?

We cannot prepare teachers or create schools for today; we must envision the classrooms and learning of tomorrow. If we want to prepare teachers for, and create, future learning environments, we must embrace the role technology will play in the classrooms of tomorrow. So how do we accurately evaluate the role technology plays, and the ways it can be leveraged for maximum impact in the future of education? Take the popular, but debated trend mentioned earlier: the use of student-owned mobile devices in the classroom.
You probably have an opinion and, perhaps, a few questions. How are these devices used during the school day? How do students, teachers, parents, and administrators feel about it? What are the specific benefits and concerns associated with this shift from the traditional structure of learning?

Now, take this issue and picture the teacher typing her syllabus and guidelines at her computer the week before school begins; or your local principal meeting with his/her staff to compile and craft the yearly handbook of school policies; or a school board discussing personal device usage before adopting an annual budget. Each individual has an opinion, informed by experience and maybe a dated national report, or a newspaper article about a nearby district who reported increased test scores and engagement with personal device usage. But, do they have your thoughts or the current, unfiltered views of your school community?
Just as we would not allow a doctor to diagnose an illness or create a treatment plan without listening to our current concerns, we must approach the future of education and the role technology will play with the same attentiveness.
Make A Broader Impact

Across the education spectrum, at a national level down to the classroom your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or future employee sits in each day, your voice can either inform policy decisions or go unheard. Your views and experiences concerning technology trends, like personal device usage (and so many others in education), are critical and go well beyond whether a student can or cannot use their phone or tablet at school. Their extended reach affects privacy and confidentiality legislation, funding allocations, internet accessibility, access to information, connectivity, global competitiveness and, most importantly, how today’s learners and tomorrow’s labor force will navigate a future in which the rate of progress is greater than at any time in history.

‘Tis the Season to Speak Up

In this season of giving, be part of Speak Up America 2013. Donate twenty minutes of your time today to take the National Speak Up Survey. Join over 3.3 million students, educators, parents, administrators, and community members who have “spoken up” since 2003—a dataset representing the largest collection of authentic feedback from key educational stakeholders about the digital learning. Speak Up closes on December 20th, so NOW is the time to participate. Take the online Speak Up survey at

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!

We hope you all had a fantastic week! It’s Friday which means it’s time to meet another one of our fabulous team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Marianne Miller, our Grants Manager!

Marianne Miller
Grants Manager
Project Tomorrow
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 Marianne joined the team in 2009, and oversees the funding priorities of the organization, with a focus on corporate and private foundation grants to support the YouthTEACH2Learn Program, Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science, and the California Future Educators Association (CFEA).  With a background in education non-profit program management, and student counseling, she understands both the funding and the program operation sides of Project Tomorrow’s projects and events.  Marianne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from California State University, Long Beach.

In her spare time, Marianne enjoys any kind of travel, Pilates, watching sporting events, and experimenting in the kitchen (or in a restaurant) with cuisine of all types. 
Please be sure to check back next week to meet Lisa Chu, Fall 2013 Project Tomorrow intern!

Thanks for reading!

-The Project Tomorrow Team

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!

We hope you all had a fantastic week and a great Thanksgiving! It’s Friday which means it’s time to meet another one of our fabulous team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Tina Kreditor, our Accounting Manager!

Tina Kreditor
Accounting Manager
Project Tomorrow
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Tina Kreditor is the Accounting Manager for Project Tomorrow, joining the team in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Southern California. She earned her CPA certificate in 1990. After working at Price Waterhouse, Tina worked for a residential home builder, spent 10 years working in Real Estate Investments at Pacific Life in Newport Beach, and currently has her own business providing accounting consulting for closely-held companies.

In her free time, Tina enjoys scrapbooking, reading and cheering on her USC Trojans!!

Please be sure to check back next week to meet Marianne Miller, Grants Manager!
Thanks for reading!

-The Project Tomorrow Team

A Day of Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

We hope you are all enjoying your day! Today we would like to take a moment to say:
Thank you to all our followers and Speak Up participants for your continued support of Project Tomorrow and Speak Up!  

In honor of giving thanks, we would like to give a special shout out to all our Speak Up Partners and Sponsors. With December quickly approaching and the close of the survey near, the encouragement and support from the following organizations are truly the core to the success of our Speak Up surveys each and every year. 
We greatly appreciate all the support and encouragement that goes into making each year’s Speak Up such a success, without you Speak Up would not be possible!

Champion Sponsors

  • Blackboard

  • Brain Pop
  • K 12

  • Dreambox logo
  • School Wires

  • SMART logo

  • Rosetta Stone

Champion Outreach Partners

  • American Association of School Administrators

  • CoSN

  • Digital Learning Day
  • Digital Promise

  • edWeb

  • iNACOL
  • ISTE

  • NASSP logo

  • Technology Leadership Network

  • State Educational Technology Directors Association
  • SREB

Non-Profit Partners

*The partners noted with an asterisk have been supporting Speak Up outreach efforts since 2003.
To learn more about joining the Speak Up family, contact Julie Evans at
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
-The Project Tomorrow Team